Sep 5 in Sports History: Cassius Clay wins Gold

In 1960: A young boxer from Louisville named Cassius Clay (His mamma named him Cassius, we gonna call him Cassius) won the Gold Medal in the light heavyweight division at the Rome Olympics. The 18-year-old future heavyweight champ defeated Zbiginew Pietrzykowski of Poland by a unanimous decision. He turned pro later that year and changed his name to Muhammed Ali in 1964.

In 1972 At the Munich Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage by a group of Palestinian militants and were later killed in a shootout. The Games were put on hold for 24 hours and 80,000 people attended a memorial service in the Olympic Stadium. The next day, after serious debate, IOC president Avery Brundage made the famous declaration, “the Games must go on.”

In 1994: In front of a national audience on Monday Night Football and a Candlestick Park record crowd, Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers caught his third TD pass of the game to break Jim Brown’s NFL record with his 127th career touchdown. Rice’s three scores paced the Niners to an easy 44-14 victory over the Los Angeles Raiders. Rice went on to score an untouchable 208 career touchdowns (Marvin Harrison of the Colts is the current active leader with 110).

NBA General

August 8 in Sports History: The Dream Team brings home Gold

In 1992 The U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team clinched the gold medal with a 117-85 win over Croatia. The Dream Team, led by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley (to name a few) was simply the greatest basketball team ever assembled. The addition of Christian Laettner secured their place in basketball lore (kidding). They steamrolled their ridiculously overmatched opponents with victory margins averaging 44 points per game. It was funny to hear players such as Karl Malone and Johnson trying to be diplomatic when discussing opponents such as Angola (won by 68), Brazil (by 44) and Germany (43) by saying, “we have to be careful,” and “we don’t want this to turn into an all-star type game.” Barkley put it better by saying, “They in trouble. They in trouble.” (

In 1931: We all know how rare a perfect game is in baseball; as there have only been 17 such masterpieces (including one post season) throughout the history of the game. No-hitters, on the other hand, are a little different; and it seems almost every starting pitcher has a chance to catch lightning in a bottle – including forgettables such as Joe Barney, Ed Head, Jose Jimenez and Hod Eller (I swear I didn’t make those up). It was an obscure left-hander named Bobby Burke of the Washington Senators who accomplished the feat on this day in 1931. Burke shut down the Boston Red Sox 5-0. Burke had just a 38-46 career record with a 4.29 ERA, but will always be remembered in baseball legend for one brilliant afternoon. (


July 27 in Sports History: Atlanta Olympics bombing

In 1933: Joe DiMaggio was just getting warmed up for his magical 56-game hitting streak in 1941, as his 61-game streak came to an end. As an 18-year old in his first year of pro baseball with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, Dimaggio got a hit on May 28 and didn’t stop for 61 straight; at one point needing six batters in front of him to reach base in the last inning before hitting a double to keep the streak alive.

In 1996: A pipe bomb exploded in the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during a late-night concert at the Summer Olympics. One person was killed and over a hundred people were injured when the bomb exploded shortly after 1 A.M. Despite heavy security at all of the venues and a bomb threat that was called in shortly before the explosion, police were unable to completely evacuate the area in time. The games continued without interruption, and a man named Eric Rudolph later plead guilty and received three consecutive life prison terms (for this and two other bombings). Rudolph was only sentenced in 2005, nine years after a security guard named Richard Jewell was originally accused and later cleared.


But I’m the only gay games in the village

The Gay Games start this week in Chicago but all is not well in the arena of gay competition. Apparently a big dustup is happening between the Gay Games and the World Outgames organizers. The original Montreal host committee of the Gay Games told the original federation to go sit on it and started their own Outgames. And now we have two competing gay olympics.

The Gay Games will be held from July 15 to the 22 but the World Outgames will be held from July 24 to August 5 so there will be time for the athletes to head north from Chicago and compete in both events if they’d like. Here’s a thought, one organization could just shift their event by 2 years and then there’d be no competition between events. Double the gaiety! Sadly, Daffyd from Llandewi Breffi will not be attending either of the gay games.

By the way, famous athletes and entertainers attending the events will be Greg Louganis, Martina Navratilova, Margaret Cho, Liza Minelli and Michael Strahan. OK, maybe not Michael Strahan.

[SFGATE]: Another gay games — feud sparks rivalry